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Publisher's Summary

An original science fiction tale by the best-selling author of Ender’s Game and his daughter.

Twenty five years ago, the alien Givers came to Earth and bestowed upon the human race the greatest technology ever seen—four giant towers known as Ladders that rise 36,000 miles and culminate in space stations that power the entire planet. Then, for reasons unknown, the Givers disappeared. Due to the unique alien construction of the Laddertop space stations, only a skilled crew of children can perform the maintenance necessary to keep the stations up and running.

Back on Earth, competition is fierce to enter Laddertop Academy. It is an honor few students will achieve. Best friends Robbi and Azure, two 11-year-old girls who are candidates for the academy, will become entangled in a dangerous mystery that may help them solve the riddle of the Givers—if it doesn’t destroy the Earth first.

©2011 Orson Scott Card and Emily Janice Card (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“The main characters in this volume are largely female, strong and intelligent, a wonderful departure from maledominated extraterrestrial offerings…An intriguing beginning—readers will clamor for the followup.” (Kirkus Reviews)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    11
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    23
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    20
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    12
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    9

Performance

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
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    28
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    20
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    10
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    7
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    6

Story

  • 3.2 out of 5.0
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  • Story

For immature readers (no offense intended).

What disappointed you about Laddertop?

Quite a few things unfortunately. I've read and then have listened to almost every OSC novel. I don't really enjoy short stories because there's usually no real depth. I was amazed really that the book is read like a dramatized play, like an old time players theater when radio was the only entertainment, with sound effects and da-da-ta-duuuh music. Very distracting to me. The story and the writing is very simple and the childish voices (but then, this is a book about children which included their self-centered view of life) were a bit irritating. That was probably my biggest disappointment. That is until I reached the end of the book. The last few lines took a weird left turn and then, huh? It's over? I had to back it up and listen to the ending again. Perhaps I missed something. The last section seemed to have no relevance to the direction of the story. I suppose this could be the first of a series but the first book is usually 3.5 plus hours long. I fear this is the book. The end.

What was most disappointing about Orson Scott Card and Emily Janice Card ’s story?

The silliness of the kid's interactions. I'm used to OSC's kids being more mature, even when they're 5 or 6 years old. These kids were probably more true to life. The conversations were petty and immature. For this reason pre-adolescents would probably enjoy the story and presentation better. The adults in the story were shallow. And one more thing. The conversations of the adults made it seem they were discussing the intentions of the Givers for the first time instead of having 25 years of experience with the incomprehensible equipment.

Which character – as performed by Emily Janice Card and Stefan Rudnicki – was your favorite?

Didn't really have one. If I have to pick it would be Roberta.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment and a bit of disbelieve that this was an Orson Scott Card book.

Any additional comments?

I had similar reactions to Pretty Boy and Space Boy which I had listened too just before Laddertop. Come on.... did Mr. Card really write these books? (No offense intended.)

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Mark
  • Hudson, FL, United States
  • 11-18-11

what a let down

I am a fan of Card. I enjoy his style of story telling and his character development.

When I downloaded this I expected a short story but not one that lacked depth. It seemed like I purchased a pre-release introduction. After good character and plot introduction the story stopped. What happened to the next 10 hours of story line?

I am actually going to ask for a refund on this one.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Very Disappointing

I have purchased and enjoyed every Card download available on Audible except for laddertop. If it was any other author, I would have given up at 30 minutes.

The story appears to be a cross between a short story and a script for a play. The disconcerting style allows for zero character development.

Nothing interesting happens and the ending is so underwhelming that I listened to the last five minutes twice not believing that OSC would allow something so lame to be promoted with his name.

The performance gets a three only due to Stephan Rudnicki. EJC sounds as if her voice is modulated to increase the listener's discomfort.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

where's the end

The story is nicely written, but it just ended when it appeared to be just getting started. Maybe I missed something important and I was interrupted several times near the end but it just left me hanging. It had all the features that made most of Card's other books so readable but ... Where's the Beef???

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Rodolphe
  • valdor, Quebec, Canada
  • 11-23-11

good start

I will buy the real book once it comes out
good beginning to a story
buy it only if u like orson scott card since its not a whole book yet

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Bill
  • United States
  • 11-08-11

Where's the rest of the story?

I didn't notice how short this book was until after I downloaded it. That was irritating but the real annoyance was that the storyline was just beginning when it suddenly stopped. It's obviously written for a young audience (Anime type crowd) but the story is interesting enough. This book should be re-released when the remaining two thirds of it are completed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Only half of the story

I'm a big fan of Orson Scott Card, and I especially appreciate the attention he gives to the production of his audiobooks. Unfortunately, I found this particular audiobook to be extremely disappointing. The writing is good and the story engaging. The reading is excellent. There are however, two insurmountable problems.

The lesser problem is the use of sound effects: a few add to the feel of the story, but most are exaggerated Foley or cheesy clips of canned music which serve only as jarring interruptions in the narrative.

The much bigger problem is that this is literally only half of the story: Laddertop was originally a two-volume graphic novel, and this audiobook only includes the story from the first volume. After much searching, I have been unable to find the second half on Audible, so the only way to finish the story is to buy the graphic novel.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

okay

it is a good performance, but it really seems like the story should continue on.

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Where's the rest.?

I've listened to the first third of a story, where's the other two thirds.? The way this ended at chapter 5 plot is only beginning to pull me in the girl arrives at top of ladder, but no mystory, no adventure; it just ends in the air hanging out.

-Larry V.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not bad for a chapter or short story

Would you try another book from Orson Scott Card and Emily Janice Card and/or Emily Janice Card and Stefan Rudnicki ?

I wish for the rest of this story. As a short story, it's not bad. But, considering cost per minute, it's not so good. Where is the rest of the book?

Would you recommend Laddertop to your friends? Why or why not?

There was only the beginning here. I want some assurance that the story will be complete before I recommend this author.

What three words best describe Emily Janice Card and Stefan Rudnicki ’s voice?

Fairly well done.

Any additional comments?

Keep writing.